A few days ago, English actor-rapper-activist Riz Ahmed dropped an EP and accompanying short film, both titled The Long Goodbye.
In a tweet announcing the release of his EP on Friday, March 6, Ahmed states, “My country’s broken up with me. We had our ups, but now it’s broken down. Let me break down the whole f**kery.” A breakup album, although not your typical, reflects on Brexit and Britain’s heightened xenophobia. In an interview with British Vogue, here’s what Ahmed had to say about his project and why he made it:
“I wanted to talk about how it feels to be here [in England]. It feels heartbreaking, man. It feels enraging. It feels like it’s not real. When you’re in a relationship, sometimes you’re looking for someone else to validate you. And when you’re rejected, you internalize the idea that you aren’t worth anything. I’m feeling rejected by Britain, but I am f**king British. I am Britain. So evaporating that illusion of duality is really empowering.”
The 15-track EP, complete with spoken word and interludes from Mahershala Ali, Mindy Kaling and Yara Shahidis, is joined by a nearly 12-minute short film that portrays a future, what-if Britain where extreme racists are in control, executing people in suburban streets. The video comes to an end with a short poem, “Where Are You From.”
“Now everybody everywhere want their country back/If you want me back to where I’m from then bruv I need a map/Or if everyone just gets their shit back then that’s bless for us/You only built a piece of this place bruv, the rest was us.”
Watch The Long Goodbye short film above and listen to the EP below. Ahmed is also expected to take the EP on the road later this month; check out the dates at thelonggoodbye.co.uk.
— Riz Ahmed (@rizwanahmed) March 7, 2020